Arsenal fans have witnessed their team fall from the promising heights of the top of the Premier League to borderline Champions League qualification, and whilst many, like Man United and England man Paul Scholes are quick to blame the club, manager and individuals, former Liverpool and internationally recognised manager Gerard Houllier thinks otherwise.
Houllier has instead taken the approach that Arsenal’s biggest problem has once again come down to injuries and that our title bid has suffered dramatically as a result. Ever since the start of the season, as you know, Arsenal have suffered major injuries at crucial times, with those of Ozil, Walcott, Chamberlain, Wilshere, Ramsey and even Podolski being out in times of need.
Gerard Houllier told Talksport, “At this moment the big loss for them was Theo Walcott. Theo was giving them some depth and some speed up front and once they lost him the results suffered. Particularly in big games he’s a threat and he can make goals and score goals. He had improved a lot so it’s a shame he’s not playing at the moment. They lost Theo, Wilshere and Ramsey, who had a terrific start to the season. It is too many key players plus the fact they look a bit more tired than the others [hasn’t helped].”
Although losing players to injury has been a major factor in our downfall this season. I don’t think a build up of injuries has been our only reason for failing in the league once again. They occurred at the wrong time with such as Ozil and Wilshere in the big games. Whilst others such as Walcott and Ramsey have had long term problems and their absence has been a major miss since they were forced to the treatment room. However injuries cannot be the sole reason to blame. Poor managerial tactics and a lack of bottle have played a part as well, whilst I suspect some will throw in the possible questioning of Referee decisions, however I think once again a lack of experience has caused yet another disappointing league campaign this season.
Of course Arsenal gave it a brilliant shot and to be honest, some will state that we are still in it at the moment, however I think on paper, much like Houllier suggests, our hopes for the league this season, were crushed with an injury crisis. But how can Arsenal make sure it doesn’t happen again next year? Signing a few players to strengthen the squad might help!